He is frugal. He likes to save a buck. And so before we were ever even admitting to ourselves the feelings we had for each other, I cut his hair. I didn’t know how to cut hair back then, but that was ok with him. Apartment across from the engineering building, along the cement wall, up narrow stairway and through door he’d arrive with his friend Joey, both with too much hair, needing a cut. And that’s how I learned, by cutting and by the mistakes I made. Ted’s hair has a little wave – helping to hide the wonderings. Joey’s not so much… straight as a stick and wiry. I really messed it up a couple times. The fact that either one of them came back for another cut, and another was shocking to me!
Really, I started cutting hair when I was a kid, but it was for my Dad who was bald. It amounted to trimming the length, and trimming his beard. Wasn’t quite the same as a bushy full head of too much hair.
The haircuts in the apartment were with sewing scissors or any other scissor we happen to have. Never with the luxury of hair-cutting tools. My roommate Ann and I were poor college students. Our budget for food those days was 40.00 per month, each contributing 20.00, standing in the commodities line for free cheese and butter whenever possible. Nice scissors were out of the question. I really should have hit the guys up for nice hair-cutting scissors since I was cutting their hair for free, but they were as poor, too.
Despite the lousy scissors and lack of skill, the event itself was grand. Ann was usually in the background making comments that made the guys nervous about what was happening to their hair, causing great hilarity – me laughing till my sides hurt, and most likely messing up the cut even more. The cuts were usually followed by an attempt to straighten out what had been so badly damaged. And more laughter. A couple weeks after the cuts, the guys started to look a little better and by the time the hair was much too long again, both of them had forgotten how bad the last cut had been.
I’m still cutting my husband’s hair, 28 years later. Joey lives in another state. I’m thinking he can afford a haircut now:) I wonder if roommate Ann has her own collection of cuts to provide, locks needing cut, cross the ocean in Cambodia. So much time has passed. So much has changed. But I still cut his hair. And our kids hair. I’m better at it now. We’ve managed to purchase some hair cutting tools; scissors, clippers, etc.. My husband is still frugal – now with time. And so when his hair needs a cutting, he doesn’t want to take the time, waits way too long, miserable grumpy, finally weeks later agrees to let me cut his hair – he says the same thing every time “Oh, I feel so much better, why do you let me go so long!!?”
We have had ups and downs in our marriage.
And still we manage to make peace for yet another haircut.
Maybe I fell in love with him cutting his hair.
I suppose something so mundane might have that kind of power.
Maybe mundane need is where true love resides.
A scheduled glue that holds us strong.
A holy routine of nothing that special.